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Re:Spite is a free-to-play 2D isometric MMORPG with art & game design by Danny Poloskei, programming by Abi, and music by Skutieos. The project started in 2014 and released to the public on May 12, 2018. The game's availability became inconsistent throughout 2020-2021 due to redesign plans. The original client became too messy to work with, so we started over! We're hoping to have a new build up and running during 2022.

Character Customization

In Re:Spite, players create a character and set out for adventure. Character customization is a key aspect of Re:Spite. Unlike other MMOs that lock features behind paywalls, Re:Spite gives players full access to all hairstyle and facial expression options.

Hairstyles can be customized with 3 pieces - the base hairstyle, added hair length (such as a ponytail), and hair that hangs in front of the ears. Facial expressions have dozens of options for eyes and mouths to be chosen independently, allowing players to make characters that look silly, serious, or anything in between!

All equipment in Re:Spite is free of stats - a separate equipment system allows players to equip invisible items to alter their stats. In other words, all players can choose their equipment entirely based on personal preferences rather than equipping whatever the game dictates. Some MMOs require players to pay real money or to go to great lengths to achieve such a state (known as "transmog"), but why withhold such a basic part of a player's personalization? It's your character - express yourself the way you want to!

Design Intentions

I've been playing games for as long as I can remember and would like to think I have some idea of what makes a game worth playing. There are bad games that some would consider good and good games that some would consider bad. There are popular games that sell millions of copies despite flawed or stale concepts while more interesting games fail to reach the spotlight. I'm not so full of myself that I believe I can design a worldwide hit that everyone would love, but I know what I like and dislike in games! Looking at reviews or discussions, it would seem these are generally shared opinions. Things like pacing, game mechanics, impact of player input, responsiveness, amount of freedom, artificial difficulty vs. real challenges - there are times when games become more tedious than they are fun. Naturally, we'd rather keep our game fun!

Re:Spite is not intended to be a copy of successful games that already exist. There'll be some overlap, but there'll also be some key differences.

Grinding in Re:Spite will be kept to a minimum or just plain won't exist. In early RPGs, grinding was part of your resource management and risk assessment - it was part of your strategy in approaching the game. For example, if it would cost 20 gold to recover at an inn and 200 gold to buy a better sword, you'd go out and fight monsters with a goal of earning more than 20 gold before you stop to recover. Generally speaking, it wouldn't take that long to achieve this - maybe 10-30 minutes. Sane players would then move on to the next area with a stronger sword in hand and perhaps 1 or 2 level ups under their belt - they wouldn't just stay at the beginning of the game and grind to max level. A game with decent pacing wouldn't keep players grinding for too long before being allowed to continue. Also keep in mind this type of game was designed over 30 years ago; surely developers could do better by now, right?

MMORPGs, however, took grinding to horrible extremes! Now there were other players in the same world, so it became a competition to see who could achieve the highest level and become the strongest. Developers couldn't make content fast enough to satisfy the grinders (or perhaps they had no desire to), so there was no real purpose in getting stronger (unless the game allowed you to kill other players). What should've been a fun experience turned into a fulltime job where the players with the most free time would be able to repeat the same tedious tasks over and over for countless hours to achieve one more level up. I experienced it, myself, playing an MMORPG and only being in the mid-levels. I found that it took about 10 hours to get one level up, which increased my stats ever so slightly. To gain access to the next area, you'd need about 5 of those level ups. Rather than killing monsters in the exact same spot for dozens of hours, you could play through a game that had a retail release to experience an entire story complete with various characters, bosses, music, puzzles, and so on.

One of the worst parts about grinding is that it alienates the newer players. If a high level player continues grinding daily, a newer player will never be able to catch up. They'll never be on equal footing and be able to have a fair fight against one another. Worse than that, many players get tired of grinding fairly early in the game. There have been a few times I played MMOs with friends and I watched as they retired one by one. Not even a month into the game, I'd find myself to be the last one standing - the others got too bored of the repetitive actions. Grinding in MMOs is a bad mechanic, period. It might resonate with a handful of people, but the vast majority of players quit as soon as the game starts forcing players to repeat content or camp monsters.

That said, Re:Spite is intended to be enjoyable as a game, not to become a chore! The level ups needed to handle the next challenges will come naturally just by playing the game. What is the meaning of your character's level when it's appropriate for the area you're in? All it means is that you can take on the challenge on equal footing. A leveling system can help with pacing, but there comes to be a point where your level is redundant. That being the case, there will be a level cap - one that allows newer players to get up to par before they get bored while also allowing content designs to be appropriately challenging.

Re:Spite MMO
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